Avoid catching a cold this winter: practise proper hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene

Thorough hand washing is one of the most important and effective things that can be done to aid the prevention and control the spread of several illnesses. Effective hand hygiene will reduce the risk of things like flu, food poisoning, and healthcare associated infections being transmitted from person to person. 

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing nappies or helping a child to use the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching rubbish

How should you wash your hands?

Wet hands with warm water

Apply enough soap to cover all hand surface and rub hands palm to palm, up to and including wrists

Rub right palm over back of left hand with fingers interlinked and vice versa

Rub palm to palm with interlinked fingers

Rub back of fingers against opposite palm

Rub each thumb clasped in opposite hand in a rotational movement

Rub tips of fingers in opposite palm in a circular motion

Rinse hands with water

Dry hands thoroughly

You can Download our guidance posters and display them to encourage everyone to wash their hands properly.

What should you do if you don’t have soap & clean running water?

The best way to reduce the number of germs on your hands is to wash them with soap and water in most situations. However, this isn’t always readily available, a good alternative is alcohol-based hand rubs which contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol base cleaners will quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in most situations, however they do not eliminate all types of germs and may not remove harmful chemicals. Hand rubs are also not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

How do you use hand rub?

Apply a liberal amount of hand cleanser and simply follow the same guidelines for hand washing. Just no requirement to dry hand afterwards.

You can reduce the risk of getting ill this winter by practicing effective hand hygiene.